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2022 Legislation Update – Minnesota

Paid Break Time for Nursing Mothers and Mandatory Pregnancy Accommodations

On June 30, 2021, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed legislation (SB 9) requiring:

    • All employers to provide paid break times each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for their infant child during the twelve months following their birth; and
    • Employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee for health conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, with the advice of a licensed health care provider or certified doula, when they request it unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business operations.

Pregnant employees can’t be required to get a licensed health care provider’s or certified doula’s advice, and employers can’t claim undue hardship, for the following accommodations:

    • More frequent restroom, food, and water breaks;
    • Seating; and
    • Limits on lifting over 20 pounds.

Employers and employees must engage in an interactive process with respect to an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation and a reasonable accommodation may include a temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position, seating, frequent restroom breaks, and limits to heavy lifting.

However, employers can’t be required to create a new or additional position as a reasonable accommodation or fire an employee, transfer another employee with greater seniority, or promote an employee. Likewise, an employee can’t be required to take a leave or accept an accommodation. Retaliation against an employee seeking an accommodation or asserting their rights is prohibited.

The law is effective January 1, 2022.

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